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Chopin - Ballade Op.23 in g-minor Part 1

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Published on Sep 4, 2009

The Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 is the first of Frédéric Chopin's four ballades for solo piano. It was composed in 1835-36 during the composer's early days in Paris and is dedicated to "Monsieur le Baron de Stockhausen," Hanoverian ambassador to France.

Chopin cited the poet Adam Mickiewicz as an influence for his ballades (this according to a rumour based on a remark by Robert Schumann concerning the genesis of Chopin's second ballade). The exact inspiration for each piece is not clear.

The music is built from two main themes, the first introduced in bar 7 after the short introduction, and the second in bar 69. Both themes return in different guises. The piece is in compound duple time (6/4) except for the short introduction (in 4/4) and the coda (in 2/2). Sections of the piece are technically demanding, requiring complex fingering, wide chords, octaves, extremely fast chords, and even a section of opposite-going chromatic octaves near the end. Its complex structure combines ideas from sonata and variation forms.

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